Zen and The Ego

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“For the ego exists in an abstract sense alone, being an abstraction from memory, somewhat like the illusory circle of fire made by a whirling torch.”

In this excerpt, Alan Watts describes more in detail two terms that are of basic importance to a clear understanding of the Buddhist view of existence: the precepts of “impermanence” (anitya) and “no-Self” (anatman), that some of you may be familiar with.

“The anitya doctrine is, again, not quite the simple assertion that the world is impermanent, but rather that the more one grasps at the world, the more it changes. Reality in itself is neither permanent nor impermanent; it cannot be categorized. But when one tries to hold on to it, change is everywhere apparent, since, like one’s own shadow, the faster one pursues it, the faster it flees.
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